Pitman musical is 'Titanic' achievement

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Pitman musical is 'Titanic' achievement

Postby Andrew Clarkson » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:12 pm

The ocean liner Titanic was one of the most ambitious undertakings of its time. Some of America and Europe’s most wealthy and famous citizens — as well as many of far humbler station — staked their lives on human ingenuity during the maiden voyage of this “unsinkable” vessel.

The 1997 musical Titanic (not to be confused with the movie from the same year) is an effort of appropriate scale, if not equal magnitude. At the Broadway Theatre of Pitman, a cast of 25 players fill 60 roles and in grand style capture the spirit of courage and optimism that filled the ship in 1912.
While the Gloucester County production doesn’t dazzle with the three-story, sinking set of the original New York staging, that is its only drawback. Composer and lyricist Maury Yeston packed the musical with choral numbers, many segregating the singers by their class or position on the ship.

Characters include historical figures (John Jacob Astor IV, Benjamin Guggenheim, George and Eleanor Widener) as well as a mix of crew and third-class passengers, some real and some fictional (White Star Line managing director J. Bruce Ismay and some invented Irish immigrant girls, all named Kate). Peter Stone’s book portrays real, imagined, and alleged events from the sinking (such as Ismay’s rumored contribution to the crash).

John Stephan’s direction unites these disparate personalities through the dreams, ambitions, and hopes of a more optimistic era. The strident singing powers through Act 1’s wondrous ensemble song “Godspeed Titanic,” the somber “Hymn” that precedes the disaster, and the reflective “In Every Age” that caps Act 2.

Read more; http://www.philly.com/philly/entertainm ... 70709.html
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